Local police departments ignore our State's Legislature.
- Write a letter to the administration of the Waterbury Police Department demanding
compliance with the law. Also send letter to Waterbury Mayor, Attorney General and
the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners.
- Letter (PDF)
- Status: Complete.
- Write and publish Press Release on this issue with Waterbury to keep the public
and media in the loop.
- Press Release (PDF)
- Status: Complete.
Waterbury responds to Connecticut Carry's demand to stop denying permit applications for refusal to supply unlawful additional requirements. Their response is that they have educated their officers to no longer do this. They go on to indicate that they will still ignore the law and perform overbearing investigations without cause after the permit application is submitted.
The Waterbury Police Department has retreated to a new line in the sand. One that is also indefensible. Connecticut Carry will investigate how the Waterbury Police Department implements this policy and take actions as necessary from there.
Take note of the Waterbury Police Department's use of the word 'defendant'. Clearly, they have taken a position that someone who applies for a permit is guilty of something and is defending themselves. The Waterbury Police Department needs to change their assumptions of guilt when dealing with law abiding citizens.
The BFPE lectures Waterbury PD on their practices:
On April 12th, 2012 the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners invited both Connecticut Carry and the Waterbury Police Department to sit down in front of the board for a discussion of our letter to Waterbury. Connecticut Carry President Rich Burgess appeared on behalf of Connecticut Carry. The Waterbury Police Department was in attendance with two officers and their legal advisor.
The board made it very clear that, like Connecticut Carry indicated, they had once once before ruled on this along with the Attorney General. They made clear to Waterbury that they understood the issue in front of them and that they also could clearly see that Waterbury was simply skirting the law and the board's ruling.
Waterbury's legal advisor continually pointed to a ruling by Judge Dyer in Farmington v. Board of Firearms Permit Examiners that says:
Farmington maintains that this condition is a tool which aids police in their statutorily mandated (General Statutes § 29-29) investigation of an applicant's suitability to carry firearms.
This is the same assertion that they made in the letter to Connecticut Carry. Waterbury PD completely ignores the cause necessary to perform such an inquiry and instead insists that they will make blanket requests during every investigation. The board warned them that if people refuse, they may appeal to the board where Waterbury would need to answer as to the cause of letters being requested.
Waterbury also stated that this was "no longer a requirement" which is false. An investigation by Connecticut Carry on the morning of April 12th, 2012 resulted in a recorded conversation with a member of the Waterbury Police Department where the person in the records department indicated that the letters were "required". She indicated that if the letters were not supplied that Waterbury would be unable to perform their background check. This is not true, ridiculous and it means the letters of reference are, in fact, still being required.
The minutes of the meeting:
New Business: A discussion was held including the Board Members, Waterbury Town Attorney Gary S. Roosa, Sgt. Michael Dethlefsen, Waterbury Police Department, Mr. Richard Burgess, President Connecticut Carry, Inc. and E. Jonathan Hardy, founder of CT Pistol Permit Issues. The discussion was initiated by a letter sent by Mr. Burgess stating that Waterbury Police Department, as part of the application for a pistol permit, required additional information not described in the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners Declaratory Ruling adopted on January 14, 2010. Attorney Roosa defended the Waterbury Police Department stating the additional requirements were only part of the background investigation. Mr. Burgess and Mr. Hardy spoke that they had received complaints from citizens that the additional requirements were part of the process when they first applied for the permit. Mr. Burgess and Mr. Hardy both agreed that the many citizens were intimidated from going forward with the application. The Board ruled that the only documents, as described in the 2010 Declaratory Ruling, must be part of the application process.
Connecticut Carry plans to give Waterbury a chance to resolve this issue and then re-investigate the issue and see if the necessary changes have been made.
The Waterbury Police Department has been put on notice to change their process. The citizens of Connecticut have been put on notice to refuse any blanket requests for letters of reference and appeal with the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners if a denial is issued.
Connecticut Carry would like to extend deep and heartfelt appreciation to the Board of Firearms Examiners for spending their personal, volunteered time to help clarify their ruling and explain the conditions of such to a resistant and misinformed police department. The Board of Firearms Permit Examiners did a great job reasoning against an unreasonable opinion and they are a true asset to this state.